There are many ways to get lean…however today’s blog focus is on testosterone boosting activities. Ladies, KEEP reading. This won’t put whiskers on you, trust me. The hormone testosterone is in everyone—just to a lesser extent in women.  Follow the steps below to help you lean up, get healthy, and look good!

  1. Focus on multi-joint movements. Examples of multi-joint movements include pushups, pull-ups, shoulder presses, squats, deadlifts. You engage more muscles, more joints, and aid stability…AND it boosts testosterone.
  2. Eat fat. Yes, she said that. We’ve come a long way baby since distorted studies of yesteryear stated that fat was so dangerous. Not so, my friend. Fat provides energy and takes a while to metabolize (preventing sugar swings). We now know that high protein, high fat diets are more beneficial in the production of testosterone. Adversely, diets high in carbohydrates lead to increased insulin and cortisol levels that result in muscle breakdown, higher levels of body fat and low testosterone production. Consider a palm of protein and a thumbnail of fat with your meals or snacks. The “bad” fat is the fake one: hydrogenated oil. Avoid it like the plague.
  3. SLEEEEEEP. Yep, you need more of it. We live in an sleep deprived world with too many distractions and “energy” products that disrupt our sleep even if we get to bed on time. Make sleep a priority.
  4. Keep you workouts short and intense. Honestly, you don’t have to spend hours at the gym…in fact, it’s really not a good thing. Blast it, quick and fast. No more slow go walks through the park. Don’t be afraid to go heavy, push it, make it hard, and shake things up (high reps, low reps).
  5. Last, consider foods or supplements containing testosterone boosting ingredients such as fenugreek, zinc, DAA, and Vitamin D (dairy, greek yogurt).

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Want to read more?

Squat to Boost Testosterone

Why Multi-Joint Exercises are Best

Why Sleep is Important

Benefits of Sleep by Huffington Post 

Until next time, choose fit, lift heavy, and laugh often.  What have you got to lose?

 

You are dedicated, you have a plan, you are working it (most of the time), yet the numbers on the scale don’t seem to budge. What’s the deal? There are many reasons why this might be happening, but for today, we will review the most common reasons.

  1. Overestimating calories burned or underestimating calories eaten. There are many schools of thought on this one, but studies show those who keep a food and workout log have the most success. However, sometimes use a little common sense. The averages often used in estimated caloric burn don’t apply to everyone. I know I burn about 2/3 of whatever the exercise piece of equipment tells me (even if I’ve entered my weight). Also, if I’m not really legit with entering everything I eat (or measuring the salad dressing), it’s soooo easy to add calories in. Or maybe not log them at all! (If you are a parent or the dish cleaner, how often have you polished off the remaining bites? This same thing can be applied to the chef! It happens.)
  2. Fad diet yo-yo. Juicing has a place…I like to detox where I get back to clean eating pre/post a ONE day juice fast, but my fast is really a liver detox. Usually when one does a juice cleanse, the “weight” lost is not the desired FAT loss, but simply water. Or, (horror) muscle loss due to severe caloric restriction. Super low calorie juicing or detox teas really just clean you out, but they are not healthy sustainable life habits. Movie stars who juice before the big day will put it right back on after the event. Skip the too-good-to-be-true programs and opt for living FIT. Every day.
  3. The routine rut…otherwise known as “same ol’, same ol”. We are creatures of habit, aren’t we? We work our favorite body parts, we run our favorite paths, we take our preferred classes…we lift the same body parts. Unfortunately, the more we repeat a movement, the better we get at it. The more efficient we become (which lends itself well to racing and energy utilization) the fewer calories we burn. Mix it up. Try new things. Challenge yourself. Just don’t stay in the routine rut.
  4. Stress. Ah, that darn stress. A certain amount of it is ok, but if the scale isn’t moving, take a moment to inhale deeply and consider how you can de-stress your life. Honestly, it will do your body much good. Because with stress, comes cortisol. And cortisol. Well, that’s an entirely separate blog on its own! (see more about Cortisol’s effect on weight loss/gain here.)
  5. Not eating enough. I’ll call this the Marcia syndrome. My friend Marcia is a committed healthy eater. But, she is also a working mom with two kids and she’s a woman who works out. If she is on the run, she skips eating vs eating something junky. That’s good she skipped junk, but then uh-oh. When she takes in too few calories for what she needs, her body will hold back from dropping energy stores (aka fat).

Marcia

Just remember consistency is key. Keep on keeping on. That’s what Marcia does. She’s a lean, mean racing machine. Check her out:

 

‘Til next time, live fit. Laugh often. What have you got to gain?

Lisa

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” -W. Churchill

Isn’t it funny how we expect life’s journey to be a linear line…except we know it’s really full of detours, closed doors, or rain? S..tuff happens. It’s easy to fall off the wagon and get off course. It happens to the best of us. That’s life. And that’s okay. It’s not failure; not yet. The only real mistake we make is to stop trying. “If you fall down seven times, stand up eight.” In other words, you find out who you truly are and what you are capable of in cloudy weather. We build character through perseverance– which is, quite simply, the art of trying again…and again. Mister “C” summed it up nicely, didn’t he?

I’ve been sucker punched many a time in life. You too, right? Things happened that knocked me to my knees. Then, the obstacles seemed so…BIG. “We are moving (four states away at age 16).” “Your dad died this morning.” “6-7% of individuals with your type of AML are alive after 10 years.” Infidelity and divorce in the midst of chemo. Seeking energy, normalcy and laughter with 3 &5 year olds when chemo ravages your body. In the midst of those times, they seemed awful. Looking back, each of those challenges provided wonderful silver linings, laughter, and love. Would I want to repeat them? Um, no. Was I fearless? Heck no. I fell. I feared. I skinned my knees. Yet Winston would be proud—I became a master stumbler, repeatedly.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”

If a door closes, expect an open window. Or consider, perhaps, another door. In other words, the key to opening a door is to keep on knocking– excitedly, expectantly. Sometimes a solution appears when we relax our idea of what life “should” be and view detours not as “bad” but as opportunities to knock on a different door. We might be surprised to discover that a setback is a wonderful opportunity–one we would have missed had we given up. The key is to keep moving and keep looking for ways to reach your goal. “A body at motion stays in motion” in physics and in life…for every step takes us somewhere.

Winston Churchill says to stumble from failure to failure. A lot. The next time life throws a curve ball, take a deep breath, dust off your skinned knees and get back up. But don’t stop dreaming. Don’t stop going. Keep on knocking and trust your abilities. Try again.

Consider every day “race” day. And compete. For you. For your health. For your family. For your community.

Simply, compete. And remember, life isn’t about avoiding the storms, but learning how to dance (or stumble) in the rain.

(My blog initially posted by  Compete Every Day…a great online business providing inspirational athletic wear and fashion attire. Be sure to check them out and sign up for their emails!)

Be fit. Live Strong. Laugh often. And, smile.

Lisa

 

 

If you read last week’s blog, you probably did the same math I did….and  probably thinking like Scoobie Doo, “Ruh-roh!” But, all is not lost and you CAN eat out successfully. Like any successful goah achievement, however, you have to plan.

When you know you’re going to eat out, consider better food choices you can make that day. You might plan a lighter lunch if you’ll eat out at dinner. Try not to skip meals because low blood sugar might encourage overindulging later. Most importantly, don’t show up at the restaurant starving. If you really want to splurge on a higher calorie entrée, by all means, skip dessert. Commit to sticking to your plan once you’re in the restaurant. And try to avoid all-you-can-eat buffets. Those are very difficult to combat mentally when the “value” proposition teases us into thinking we need to eat more. Because buffets really test my control, I just avoid them.

Your Attack Plan

If eating out, you might try some of the strategies below:

  • Don’t forget “portion distortion”! We have been brainwashed into thinking portions should be larger–and food often comes in multi-serving sizes. So order regular portion sizes instead of the jumbo or super sizes that are so common. Ask for a smaller size.
  • Try an appetizer, half an entrée, or share a meal with a friend and order an extra side salad. This is also a money saver!
  • Ask if you can make healthy substitutions, for instance, a baked potato instead of fries, or a salad or fresh fruit instead of coleslaw. Ordering ala carte is a good idea also—and always ask what healthy substitutions are available. Most restaurants want you to come back.
  • Ask for half your entrée to be wrapped up to go before the food is brought to the table.
  • Learn to spot which dishes are made with lower calorie cooking methods.
  • Ask how dishes are prepared and if they can do it your way by either grilling the chicken or steaming the vegetables.
  • Always request that sauces and dressings be provided on the side.
  • Don’t tempt yourself! Have the waiter remove the bowl of chips or peanuts, or the basket of bread. (Personally, I can’t sit in front of a bowl of chips and not eat them.) Calories from mindless nibbling can add up before you know it.
  • Don’t sit near the dessert cart!
  • Limit or eliminate alcohol. Alcohol is high calorie. It contains few nutrients and weakens your will power.

You can do it! Be strong & plan ahead.

Till next time, LIVE fit. Be happy.

A recent study of our US dining habits by the American Cancer Society took a look at 12k adults over a 7 year period. According to the study, we eat out an average of 2X a week, taking in an extra 200 calories…and the quality of those calories is more saturate fat, sugar and sodium.

Their lead researcher Binh Nguyen, PhD, said “If you eat out 2 days per week and do not exercise or reduce intake during the day, the additional caloric intake is about 20,000 calories per year, the equivalent of about 6 pounds annually.”

Yikes. Ok, I am an analyst by day, so I immediately  started doing more  scenarios…what if we eat out 3X a week, or 5X a week, or more..? You get the picture. Scary huh? Couple that with significantly more sedentary lifestyles (sitting is the new “smoking”) and it’s no wonder we have the health challenges we do.

Now, you can eat out and still eat healthy, but it will take a little planning in advance. Try these simple strategies:

Before you head out, look up the restaurant’s menu online. Most have calorie counts for better decision making. Just remember, many calorie totals exclude salad dressings and other toppings.
If you can’t get calorie counts, keep an eye out for lower fat options like clear, broth-based soups or spinach salads with the dressing on the side. With entrees, go for grilled, broiled, or steamed vs. fried. You can always ask your waiter for healthier options and most restaurants will work with you on adjustments. (high maintenance ordering as my kids like to tease!)
Remember portion distortion. Most entrees will serve 2-3 people! Split your meal AND save a buck. This works even better with desserts…if you must indulge in the chocolate cake (Lisa), get a spoon for everyone at the table!

 

Be fit, live well, laugh often.

 

 

I like mantras and affirmations. Let’s face it. Life happens. And there are times we all go through that just straight up “suck egg” (a polite term one of my friend’s uses). Ironically, it’s in these lousy times that we learn the most about ourselves and receive some of life’s greatest rewards. During tough times, it can be hard to think about anything other than what’s going on. Whether you are going through a tough time or want more focus on a positive result, mantras can provide powerful changes in thought, word and deed!

How does the mind/body connection work? Well, in a nutshell, attitude matters. You get what you expect. Most important, however, is the fact that happiness is a choice. It doesn’t mean that “suck egg” won’t happen. It does mean, however, that you have complete control on how you handle what life throws your way.

I’ve had multiple “suck egg” situations in life. One of the biggest was the “c” experience. Would I have opted for cancer for the life learnings I got out of it? Nooooo, thank you! To help get through it, however, I used multiple mantras. One I spoke repeatedly was, “I choose LIFE” and “My body is strong, healthy, and free and clear of disease.” I said these out loud every morning, driving my car, at quite times, before bed, while getting chemo, while puking my guts up, or while feeding my little ones when I was nauseous. Spoken words are powerful. And, energy flows where focus goes.

Mantras are not new. They are a cornerstone in meditation, prayer, goal achievement, competition, and in life in general. Mentally, they work as affirmations of one’s own higher consciousness and divinity, which can work to replace limiting beliefs. On a physical level, the repetition of mantras has multiple effects creating energy patterns and vibrations.

On a spiritual level, the repetition of sacred mantras helps us to remember and strengthen their connection to the divine within. It soothes the mind and body, allowing for a greater expression of spirit. Personally, I like the repetition of a mantra to tame and disarm my ego…which is often the very thing placing limits on my desires.compete every

Mantras are not new. They have been used for thousands of years because they are extremely powerful and effective. Ready to give it a try?

Peruse the internet. Find the statements that resonate with you. Write them down. Post them in visible places. Speak your mantras out loud. Find sites that motivate you. One of my favorites is Compete Every Day. This company produces limited run Athletic and fashion wear with bold, powerful mantras. They have wonderful newsletters and Facebook quotes. Plus, you should see this week’s “Athlete of the Week”!

Go ahead, give it a try. What have you got to gain?

In 2010, a survey by Celie et al (in the European Review of Aging and Physical Activity) involving a test group size of 200,000 participants in a 15km (9-ish miles) road race revealed very interesting results. Being an analyst by day, I love this kind of research. Here’s what they found:

  • For each year over 40, runners in this study slowed by only 0.2% (or about one second per mile, per year).
  • The gap between men and women shrinks significantly so that by 60, women have made up five of the ~15% difference in performance that separates the genders at age 40.
  • While both genders slow at roughly a linear rate from 40 to 60, men’s performance decreases more sharply afterwards, while women continue on a roughly linear track.

Jore

The study also separated runners into “trained” and “untrained” categories. It turns out that trained runners were almost 16% faster than untrained ones.

Another study was done in 2003 by Stephen Bird on highly competitive male runners. After a battery of tests, they found that 10k race performance decreased at a rate of about 0.5% per year (just under 2 seconds, per mile, per year). More interesting were the results on the other tests involving physiological markers that are assumed to decrease with age (maximum heart rate, muscular strength, and oxygen uptake, etc.). These markers decreased significantly slower in the trained runners than they did in the general population. What’s more, while oxygen uptake and heart rate decreased with age, running economy—a measure of how efficient you are—hardly decreases at all!

Hello! As an “over 40” athlete, I think it’s high time we tossed out “old think”. Many declines in health will NOT occur in a body that works out and is fed with real, hormone & chemically free foods. Lifting weights, working out, running… is NOT age discriminatory. Rather, it is just the opposite. That’s some great news—and backed by science!

So, what are you waiting for? A wonderful mentor of mine likes to ask the question, “What have you got to gain?”

 

NEWSFLASH!

Companies from big to small will benefit from adding a focus on their employees’ well-being. Turns out it does not detract from productivity –or cost. Quite the opposite, in fact. There have been more than 200 scientific studies indicating the positive return-on-investment for worksite wellness programs. And why wouldn’t they? We spend more time at work than anywhere else, so the workplace provides a primo opportunity to promote healthy habits.

On the company side, these benefits are seen:

  • High well-bring boosts performance
  • Enhanced recruitment & retention of healthy associates
  • Reduced health care costs
  • Decreased rates of illness & injuries
  • Reduced associate absenteeism
  • Improved employee relations and morale

How, specifically, does it help employees?

  • Weight reduction
  • Improved physical fitness
  • Increased stamina
  • Lower levels of stress
  • Increased well-being, self-image & self-esteem

I guess that’s not a newsflash, however, is it? We’ve known that inherently that a focus like that is good for morale. Now, after numerous studies, we know that a health focus is a win-win all the way around. Well-being is good for employees, the company, its clients

So, if your company doesn’t have a program, suggest one. The studies are in: ROI is positive. Will it take a little time and money to get started? Sure, but there are many ways to go about it and a lot of outside vendors who can provide help in a number of ways.

What have you got to gain?

 

http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/180146/memo-executives-boosts-employee-engagement.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication

http://www.uri.edu/research/lrc/research/papers/Dursi-Healthcare.pdf

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=246

 

Tom Nikkola, CSCS, CISSN, Pn1 recently shared a blog with the above title. If you are like me, you appreciate Cliff notes, so here they are, short ‘n sweet:

  1. You’re probably not a high school athlete anymore.

Be sensible, ‘nuff said.

  1. Your body will change when you challenge it, not when you punish it.

One of my favorite quotes is, “You can’t expect 100% results with 50% of the effort.” Training is like life, you get out of it what you put into it.

  1. Exercise is just a stimulus. Nutrition and sleep are what actually change your body.

Train to change your body, then fuel and recover (sleep) properly to allow your body and hormones to do their thing.

  1. Sometimes, doing an exercise wrong is worse than not doing it at all.

I’ve been certified for over 20 years, but will be first to admit I don’t know it all and I love to learn new ways to train and/or a better way. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Keep learning & sharpen the saw.

  1. The sauna and steam room can help you recover faster.

Heat speeds recovery, lowers oxidation, increases growth hormone, and is detoxifying. Plus, it makes your body inhospitable to unwelcomed bacteria and viruses.

  1. Nutrition and supplementation can lessen the muscle soreness.

This subject alone could be a year’s worth of blogs. Let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food. If you do supplement, consider curcumin and/or coconut oil.

  1. You don’t have to be a runner, but you should view the process of getting fit as a marathon, and not a sprint.

You didn’t get where you are overnight, so don’t expect overnight results. One bad meal won’t make you fat—on the other hand, one week of workouts & healthier eating won’t make you fit.

Until next time, live strong. Be fit. Laugh often. And smile.

What have you got to gain?

 

Interested in reading more about the benefits of Curcumin or Coconut Oil?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-662-Curcumin%20(TURMERIC).aspx?activeIngredientId=662&activeIngredientName=Curcumin%20(TURMERIC)

http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/charles-mattocks/benefits-coconut-oil

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/01/coconut-oil-benefits_n_3194782.html

http://www.eatingwell.com/nutrition_health/nutrition_news_information/health_benefits_of_coconut_coconut_oil_coconut_milk_coconut_water_coconut_flour?page=2

 

 

successIf you are about to embark on a new year and a healthier new you, hats off to you.  Sometimes change can be scary. It can be challenging. It can upset the “status quo” and even impact relationships. Even so, change is where real growth occurs, right? So, set your goals and visualize sweet success.

What’s the best way to ensure you achieve your goals?

  • Write them down
  • Identify clear action steps (those are the tactical, small action steps that get you to the bigger goals)
  • Make your goals public (share them, shout them, post them, make a vision board)
  • Enlist help from family and friends (get those closest to you involved & surround yourself with like-minded individuals)

And if you fall off the wagon somehow, give yourself a break. You’re human. Focus on what you’ve done right and good give yourself credit. Be cool with where you are. Then take the next small step. And keep going.

Remember, every little bit helps & consistency is key. I’m rooting for you!

Live strong. Be fit. Laugh often. And smile.